n What to Do When Your Dissenting Views are ‘Too Much’ for Advertisers | The Anti-Marketing Manifesto

Science Magazine recently rejected an advertorial written by David Bronner, President of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps — a company that describes itself as “the top-selling brand of natural soaps in North America.”

The reason for the rejection?

The magazine was afraid of pissing off members of the GMO industry who have deep pockets.

Mother Jones tells the story of what went down:

Science was just about to collect the necessary credit card info, so they could run the $9,911.00 ad… but like a neurotic, hormonally imbalanced individual out of touch with their true selves, Science changed their minds just hours later.

An ad sales manager explained:

“…we cannot accept the ad. We’re concerned about backlash from our members and potentially getting into a battle with the GMO industry.”


What was inappropriate about Dr. Bronner’s ad?

Nothing. It simply told the truth — that GMOs are increasing pesticide use in the United States.

The ad cited an analysis by Ramon Seidler, a retired senior staff scientist at the Environmental Protection Agency.

The ad-sales manager said thatScience‘s management found [the ad] ‘a little bit controversial,’ and worried that ‘if we allowed that kind of a piece to be printed in Science, then maybe we’d be subject to the GMO world coming after us.'”

If Science caves into the GMO industry…what else does it cave into?

Is the magazine even about real science?

Or is it about people-pleasing?

“Ironically, it’s not that anyone in the organization disagreed with what [the ad] said. It’s just that we had to consider that the opposite side of the coin might want to start a war in our magazine.”

A war waged on GMOs would be a good thing.

One reader nailed it in the comments section of the Mother Jones article:

Screen Shot 2014-12-21 at 3.21.10 PM

Yes, “pansies” is right!

A similar incident happened with Nature, a UK-based publication. Nature was about to accept an ad from Dr. Bronner’s, only to change their mind a few days later — no explanation given.

Some of my clients have run into this same problem — of advertisers not wanting to run certain ads because they’re “too controversial.”

Sorry, but that is not a valid reason to censor the truth.

This is why it’s soooo important not to rely on advertisers (hence, anti-marketing).

Instead, focus on creating content that motivates, educates, and inspires (MEIs) your readers! Then blast it to your email list!

Your readers will forward it, share your content, and give you free “advertising” to their friends and family.

Never rely on an advertiser whose “ethics” are dictated by someone else’s “deep pockets.”


* Source: “Why Did Top Scientific Journals Reject This Dr. Bronner’s Ad?” – https://www.motherjones.com/food/2014/10/read-dr-bronners-gmo-ad-thats-too-hot-nature-and-science/

About the Author

Hi! I'm Michelle Lopez. I'm the author of the forthcoming book, The Anti-Marketing Manifesto: How to Sell Without Being a Sellout. With a degree in English/Creative Writing and a background as a copywriter, I help my clients create content that follows the MEI(S) principle: motivate, educate, inspire...and sell!

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